Macau authorities said today that they expect a maximum of 50,000 daily visitors in the Lunar New Year, 70% less than before the pandemic, due to the still irregular situation of maritime and air transport.
“There is still the problem of transport, we will not be able to have all the ferry lines working as before the pandemic [of covid-19]. It is impossible to fully resume flights and, therefore, it is more a question of the transport that brings tourists”, justified the deputy director of the Directorate of Tourism Services (DST), Cheng Wai Tong.
During the Lunar New Year 2019, 170,000 tourists visited Macau a day, underlined the official, who forecast for the same period, which this year falls between 22 and 28 January, “between 40 and 50 thousand visitors daily”.
“We will not be able to register the same number of visitors from one moment to the next” as in 2019, he noted.
With regard to hotel reservations for the festive season, the DST representative underlined that, at the moment, the rate is between 30 and 50%.
The hotel sector, severely affected by the pandemic, is still “not able to have all the rooms available”, noted Cheng. And he emphasized that the cause is the lack of manpower: “At the moment adjustments are being made, [the hotels] need time to recruit workers”.
Cheng Wai Tang was speaking to journalists during a press conference about the Lunar New Year parade, which this year takes place on January 24 and 28, with a parade of 18 floats and artistic groups with more than a thousand elements. .
DST activities, which welcome the Year of the Rabbit, have a budget of 30.7 million patacas (3.5 million euros), he said.
Macau, which like the interior of China followed the ‘zero covid’ policy, recently canceled most prevention and containment measures, after almost three years of strict restrictions.
Chinese tourists can now enter the territory without testing negative for Covid-19.
The number of visitors has dropped dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic, with Beijing suspending the issuance of visas and group travel to Macau. Until November 2022, the number of visitors did not reach five million, when in 2019 it was almost 40 million, almost 60 times the population of the territory.
Este artigo está disponível em: Português